The Dominican Republic is home to thousands of expats; attracted by the weather, scenery, and low cost of living. With 1,000 miles of coastline and some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, it is easy to understand why.

Whether you come to live in the Dominican Republic full-time, or just come for the winter months, you will enjoy beaches and mountains, a tropical climate, good internet and cable TV, good healthcare, and you will be welcomed by a community of fun and friendly people.

Many people comment on the fact that due to the size of the Dominican Republic (about 19,000 square miles) it has a wide range of varying scenery from beaches, mountains, deserts, and rainforests. There are acres of sugar cane fields, beautiful lakes, stunning mountain views, the Caribbean Sea to the south, and the Atlantic Ocean to the north. You can go hiking, trekking, scuba diving, and snorkeling. There are a wide range of restaurants and places to eat, from freshly cooked whole fish on the beach, to barbecued suckling pig. There are restaurants from every nationality throughout the country, as well as the famous Dominican street food, including fried chicken and empanadas. Wherever you go you will hear music, which will normally be bachata, meringue, or salsa. There is music on the local buses, in the shops and supermarkets, and bars.

Also, given the size of the island, you have a wide choice of where to live. Beach or mountain? Caribbean Sea or Atlantic Ocean? Much will depend on what is important to you. With six international airports you will never be far away from flying back home, but if international supermarkets and schools are important to you, you will need to live in the tourist areas in the north of the country, the east, or the country’s largest cities, Santo Domingo and Santiago.

If you love the idea of a fusion of Europe and the Caribbean then head for the northeast Samaná peninsula and check out Las Terrenas, which was originally the place of choice of the French. There you will find amazing beaches, fabulous food ranging from lobster on the beach to upscale restaurants, French bakeries and supermarkets, and a perfect expat lifestyle.

If you speak Spanish and prefer to integrate more with the Dominican people, you could go to the beautiful southwest near Barahona, where the mountains descend into the sea and you can sit and eat fish next to a crystal clear river as it flows into the Caribbean. Home to one of the most interesting ecological parts of the country, with iguanas, crocodiles, flamingos, and a wide range of bird life, Barahona is one of the more remote areas of the country, with limited healthcare, and no international supermarkets or schools. But it is slowly becoming more popular with expats due to its exceptional beauty.

Living in the Dominican Republic is a total change from the fast paced life in North America and Europe. There is a mañana attitude to everything, and you will find yourself slowing down, relaxing more, and adapting to the Dominican way of life.